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Designing a Communications Strategy for Tablets

When a big box retailer decided to enter the tablet market, dozens of brands and models already existed. Not only was this customer entering unfamiliar territory, it was competing against brands already well-established in the marketplace. This retailer needed to offer compelling product features at a competitive cost in order to attract the first-time buyers it was targeting. To establish itself as a serious tablet contender, it also wanted to provide a customer experience that would generate excitement and create a loyal following for future models.

There were a number of obstacles to work through. The retailer was dealing with a new vendor and faced a shortened product development cycle so schedule was a concern. Both D2 and the retailer anticipated a high number of support calls and knew customers might need extra help. At the same time, the desire to reach a cost-conscious audience meant budget constraints. This resulted in the decision to provide no on-device document reader, which meant their traditional PDF would not be an option. The retailer acknowledged the need for a different approach to providing product information but wasn’t sure how to proceed. They needed an innovative approach that maintained a consumer focus but didn’t compromise on quality. For that, they turned to D2.

OUR APPROACH

D2 data, usability, and communications experts collaborated to identify challenges, define objectives and formulate solutions.

The Data Analysis team provided data on what tablet consumers contact technical support about. The Behavioral Analysis team conducted various studies to better understand the information customers need and how they want to access it. The Global Communications team provided insight on how and what competitors were communicating to customers.

The teams then worked together to identify communications channels best suited for delivering specific content and targeted toward key audiences, including consumers, sales staff, and support agents. We considered issues, such as enterprise and manufacturing limitations, and software restrictions. We utilized findings/learnings from related research and studies to design and detail potential solutions.

We also created a unique methodology called “Taste Snack Meal Dessert” to define what content should be provided when and by what mechanism (on-product, online, printed, etc.). We designed branded pieces and tested in real-time to determine what worked and what didn’t.

In the end, we delivered a high-level strategy, along with branded communication elements, to help the retailer better understand and envision the proposal. We showed how the plan would create a positive experience for customers learning to use their tablets. We explained how it considered important factors, respected business needs; kept market goals and objectives in mind; offered a solution unique from competitors, along with elements never before successfully undertaken by the retailer. The plan also provided a mechanism by which content could be monitored and fed back to communications teams for evaluation. We explained how leveraging core materials in later product documentation would streamline the process and reduce development costs on future tablet communications pieces.

THE RESULTS

The retailer loved the overall plan but, due to cost and schedule constraints, did not approve all elements. The most critical ones, however, were approved and, in the end, the effort resulted in a highly effective communications strategy that successfully achieved retailer goals. Initial customer ratings were high and the retailer expanded its tablet line. The approach was so successful that other product teams ultimately decided to apply the same communications strategy to their products and continue to do so.

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